Disinfection byproducts in drinking water and skin cancer

Karagas, Villanueva, Nieuwenhuijsen, Weisel, Cantor, and Kogevinas (2008), citing Villanueva et al. (2007), noted increasing evidence of increased cancer risk, particularly skin cancers, from absorption of disinfectant byproducts through bathing, showering, and swimming.  Karagas et al. asserted that the increased risk of basal cell carcinomas (BCC) and squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) warranted further study.  The Karagas et al. study sample consisted of 293 SCC cases, 603 BCC cases, and 540 controls in a review of reported trihalomethane  levels in the municipal water supplies associated with the study participants, each of whom was in New Hampshire.


Karagas, M., Villanueva, C., Nieuwenhuijsen, M., Weisel, C., Cantor, K., & Kogevinas, M.  (2008). Disinfection byproducts in drinking water and skin cancer? A hypothesis.  Cancer Causes Control, 19, 547–548. doi: 10.1007/s10552-008-9116-y

Villanueva, C., Cantor, K., Grimalt, J., Castaño-Vinyals, M., Silverman, D., Tardon, A., Garcia-Closas, R., Serra, C., Carrato, A., Rothman, N., Real, P., Dosemeci, M., & Kogevinas, M. (2007). Bladder cancer and exposure to disinfection byproducts in water through ingestion, bathing, showering and swimming in pools: Findings from the Spanish Bladder Cancer Study. American Journal of Epidemiology, 165, 148–156.